Field Seminar Pol Theory

Term: Spring 2011

Subject Code: GPOL

Course Number: 6301

This seminar aims to introduce students to a range of approaches and themes in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory and also to help students prepare to take the theory field exam.  Specific topics vary from year to year.  This year, the seminar will focus on the question of the political, its nature and scope, its relationship to sovereign power and the logic of representation.  We will also consider the political dimension of democracy and liberalism and their complex and tense association.  We will critically examine major texts that address the question of the political and engage with its most prominent proponents, such as Thucydides, Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes, George Lawson, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Federalists, Benjamin Constant, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Isaiah Berlin, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Cornelius Castoriadis, Sheldon Wolin, Claude Lefort, John Rawls, and Jürgen Habermas.  The seminar will effectively reconstruct a multi-layered conversation on the political among many of the influential voices in the history of Western political theory.

This field seminar in political theory is required of all PhD students in the Theory track. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.


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